This past weekend one of the elite jumpers I work with had a catastrophic injury. During a competition at UNC, Jade Ellis tore his left Achilles tendon as he ran down the run way for his sixth attempt in the long jump. Training had been going well and he was jumping great (especially considering the relatively slow surface at UNC) and everything was going well until that final jump. Jade is a great guy and a pleasure to have in the training group. He graduated from Duke last year and has a long jump PR of 7.77m (25’6). I’ve worked with and observed quite a few great jumpers in my time at LSU and working with the HPC Elite team and I have no doubt Jade has the talent to jump 8.5m and be a major player on the international stage in a couple years. This was my first really serious injury since I’ve been coaching. As a coach it’s always tough to see a guy out. Especially one you know works hard wants it really bad. Jade is one of those guys. Which brings me to the purpose of this post….Jade requires an MRI and almost certainly surgery. The MRI alone will cost $2400 and surgery is estimated at $17,000. Jade doesn’t have insurance and only has a part time job. Before you get all preachy about how everyone needs insurance, consider where you were and what you were doing the year you graduated from college. Think of how easy it is to forget about intangible things like insurance when money is tight and we’re in the middle of a recession. Consider the sacrifices you might make (however foolish) if you had the opportunity to pursue your dream rather than swallow the blue pill and become a 9-to-5 schmoe like the rest of us. Remember that hindsight is always 20/20.
This is his 2nd Achilles tear. He tore the right one his sophomore year at Duke. He came back to jump PR levels and compete at NCAA and USATF Nationals so you know he’s resilient. Jade needs any help he can get to help cover the costs. I know finances are tight for everyone and the disaster in Haiti is recent on the mind but please consider donating a little to help the guy out. We’ve got about a thousand active members on the site and several thousand more lurkers. If we can all chip in and contribute we can at least pay for some of the initial costs of the MRI so the road to recovery can get underway.
As an added incentive, for every $50 you donate, I’ll give you $40 of store credit at the HPC store where you can buy books and DVDs from myself, Tom Tellez, Larry Judge, Dan Pfaff, and many others. 100% of proceeds will go directly to covering Jade’s medical costs. If you can’t spring for $50 then give whatever you can. Any little bit helps. UPDATE: UNFORTUNATELY, THE STORE CREDIT OFFER HAS NOW ENDED. YOU MAY STILL DONATE BUT STORE CREDIT WILL NO LONGER BE RECEIVED. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
We all know that there’s practically no support in this country for emerging elite athletes once they leave college so here’s an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is if you’ve ever complained about that or experienced it yourself.